Uses for your old Mini-ITX motherboard?

VIASome time ago I have been asked by my friend about possible uses of old Mini-ITX motherboard. He told me that he have found a passively cooled VIA EPIA-PD in some old media equipment at his work that was not needed anymore. He told me that this is only 600Mhz processor… It is not worth anything… I was almost shocked. 600Mhz is really a lot for a passively cooled computer that has only 9 to 15 watts power consumption!

Sure… there is a lot of better motherboards on the market nowadays. But there is still a lot of possible uses for such a computer. When you want to have a little and silent mini server at home this mini motherboard is really a great choice! So here are a few possible uses I have suggested to him.

  1. Attach a big HDD, install any Linux (or even Windows) on it. And use it as a silent and really low powered NAS (network attached storage) that is accessible from any of your computers (desktop, notebook, desktop of your children, wife… dog… or whatever :) ).
  2. You may install apache server on any Linux or Windows distro you have chosen at previous point and host your homepage on it. It really won’t need much CPU if you don’t have thousands of thousands visitors (you can do the same with your e-mail).
  3. Attach a good graphic card, connect it to your TV and you would have silent media box! Great for watching movies from your HDD or directly from Internet (YouTube on TV is really a nice thing).

These are just a three points that was so clear to me that I could answer him immediately. 600Mhz is not much for you desktop computer but it is really enough to make your life just a little easier. Do you have any other ideas about using it? Please share in the comments.

2 Responses to “Uses for your old Mini-ITX motherboard?”

  • Yea I would do the NAS box thing. Or I can have it in the house as a cheap little Internet box for when guests come over.

    I’m new to the mini-ITX world. I’m mostly ARM and VIA kinda guy though. No Intel for me… too many watts!

  • As I recall, we used to use a Pentium II 450MHz for our online class registration server for a student population of around 10,000. That was perhaps 10 years back. The students frequently got time-outs during the registration process but the culprit was the measly T3 connection. The hardware itself was plenty fast enough.

    As for other uses, how about a mini-arcade box for older games? ^__^

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